Content Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are tried-and-true techniques for driving traffic to your website and improving your search engine ranking. No matter how good your strategy and results are, there is always room for improvement. Here are 9 tips to make the most of your content marketing and SEO efforts.

1. Give a Peek Behind the Paywall
You may offer high-value content exclusively for paying subscribers to your website. It makes sense to have excerpts of this content publicly viewable, where search engines can find and parse the text. These excerpts can drive traffic to your landing page. From there, you can encourage users to download the full version.

2. Search Engines Are Getting Smarter
Google and other search engines are getting better at finding precisely the content that users want. As search engines get smarter, it becomes more and more critical than ever to have well-written content that conveys ideas well, not just content filled with keywords and phrases.

3. Update Your Keyword List
Search trends come and go. The frequent keywords users were searching for a year ago may not be relevant today. Make regular keyword research a part of your workflow so you can choose the best keywords for your industry.

4. Don’t Forget Your Images
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. This proverb is true when it comes to search engines. Be sure that all of your images have descriptive names and all text to help search engines find you.

5. Quality Content Doesn’t Stand Alone
Writing great content is part of improving your search engine ranking, but it’s not the only tool. Even the best content is useless without SEO best practices. Write the best content you can, but achieving success will take more.

6. Check Your Old Content
Search engine algorithms change. People’s search habits change. If you are not updating and optimizing your old content, you could be missing an opportunity. Be sure to revisit your old content regularly to make sure it’s doing its job.

7. Choose What Search Engines See
Sometimes, content that people want to read isn’t popular with search engines. You don’t have to delete content that users enjoy; you can tell search engines to ignore it. You can instruct the search engines in your robots.txt file.

8. Demonstrate Your Authority
Do you have content written by subject matter experts? Make sure that search engines know who wrote it. When you have content written by recognized experts in a field, it may improve your ranking.

9. Aim for the Featured Snippet Spot
If you’ve done much searching on Google, you’ve undoubtedly seen these answer boxes, officially known as featured snippets. These pieces of content that typically answer user questions appear above the ads in Google search results. The best part is, Google doesn’t reserve these spots for the largest websites; any website with well-written, relevant content can take the prize.

The world of content marketing is always in flux, and search engines get more sophisticated every day. It takes more than robust website design and keyword-rich content to succeed. Check your content regularly to increase effectiveness of your SEO efforts and boost your search engine traffic.